Friday, October 14, 2011

Playing with crayons

It was a surprise to find these twist-up crayons at Staples. I picked them up to keep in my go-bag, and they turned our to be a of pretty good quality. I was able to make use of them right away at the New York Container Terminal. Most of the morning was spent sketching before getting into a day of shooting photographs for NYCT's annual promotional calendar.
These Cachet Studio 10 x 8 sketchbooks are great. They have 80 pages of 70lb paper that takes ink, pen and washes very well. It also has an elastic band enclosure that comes in handy.
This pack of 24 has a pretty good color assortment.

To draw wide flat marks I snap off a big piece at the tip and 
use it like a mini pastel. There is a generous amount 
of crayon in the barrel, so you don't need to worry about 
going through a color too fast.

There's quite a lot of stuff to go after down along the shore.

The black works great for quick sketches.
The 10 x 8 Cachet Wirebound Sketchbook is a 
comfortable size to work with. I've used few of them lately.
I've gotta say these were a pretty good buy and I'd recommend them... not bad for a Staples brand item.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The long and short of the Worther Shorty

I've had this Worther Shorty since the 80's (it says "Made in W. Germany on the top!) and it's been a great pocket pencil that I've feared loosing because I've never seen them again since I picked it up at Pearl Paint on Canal St. But I recently found an online source and stocked up.
When I found that iPenstore had Worther Shorties I immediately orders seven in different colors. I gave four away but still have three in reserve. They're awesome little clutch pencils with a simple mechanism that fit in your pocket without taking up a lot of room.
The Shorty's size in comparison to a
 Mitsubishi Uni B lead holder and a
 Caran d'Ache 0.5 mechanical pencil.
The Shorty's 3 mm lead in comparison to a 0.9 Pentel, 
and a 2.0 Staedtler lead holder. 
The Shorty uses a generous 3mm lead.

My original Shorty stays in my studio, 
and the fresh troops hit the road with me.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Paradise Lost and a sketchbook found!

My most recent order from the Fountain Pen Hospital included this complimentary Libelle Leather ID Card Case. It's stitched leather with a snap enclosure and came with a little chrome ballpoint pen. To be honest, I really didn't have a need for it. It was too nice to throw away so I just put a few of my business cards in it.
I don't know what made me think to cut down a little scratch pad and slide it into the business card slot; but it worked perfectly. Then I replaced the ballpoint with the short nub of a General's Woodless pencil and I had a mini sketch pad that fits neatly into a pocket. Now I love it!
It really came in handy when I had a looming Penguin USA deadline for Milton's Paradise Lost. I spent some long hours in a hospital waiting room just before I needed to get some sketches off. This little book kept me occupied, and sane during that time; and I was able to knock out a series of thumbnails. With these done I knew I had the project underway in my head. 
Once again, some sloppy little drawings come to the rescue!
The little nubs from some General's Woodless pencils 
were a perfect fit for this new notebook. 

These are a couple of my finished paintings from my thumbnails. The art still needed to be scanned and the type design added.

Some other thumbnail sketches of my type designs and a
serpent design scrawled with crayon on a legal pad.

I used Apple Barrel liquid acrylics for these drawings. They're very loose, smooth and splattery and the bold primary colors are what I had in mind while I was thumbnailing.

These are the final layouts along with my type designs that I submitted to Penguin for approval. The whole project started with that little pocket sketchbook.

I think I might try adding nicer paper to this little gem of a sketchbook; it's the only thing that might need improvment.